Home > Robert Fisk: Even I question the ’truth’ about 9/11 (video)

Robert Fisk: Even I question the ’truth’ about 9/11 (video)

by Open-Publishing - Thursday 27 September 2007

Edito Wars and conflicts International Attack-Terrorism USA Robert Fisk

By Robert Fisk

Each time I lecture abroad on the Middle East, there is always someone in the audience – just one – whom I call the "raver". Apologies here to all the men and women who come to my talks with bright and pertinent questions – often quite humbling ones for me as a journalist – and which show that they understand the Middle East tragedy a lot better than the journalists who report it. But the "raver" is real. He has turned up in corporeal form in Stockholm and in Oxford, in Sao Paulo and in Yerevan, in Cairo, in Los Angeles and, in female form, in Barcelona. No matter the country, there will always be a "raver".

His – or her – question goes like this. Why, if you believe you’re a free journalist, don’t you report what you really know about 9/11? Why don’t you tell the truth – that the Bush administration (or the CIA or Mossad, you name it) blew up the twin towers? Why don’t you reveal the secrets behind 9/11? The assumption in each case is that Fisk knows – that Fisk has an absolute concrete, copper-bottomed fact-filled desk containing final proof of what "all the world knows" (that usually is the phrase) – who destroyed the twin towers. Sometimes the "raver" is clearly distressed. One man in Cork screamed his question at me, and then – the moment I suggested that his version of the plot was a bit odd – left the hall, shouting abuse and kicking over chairs.

Usually, I have tried to tell the "truth"; that while there are unanswered questions about 9/11, I am the Middle East correspondent of The Independent, not the conspiracy correspondent; that I have quite enough real plots on my hands in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Iran, the Gulf, etc, to worry about imaginary ones in Manhattan. My final argument – a clincher, in my view – is that the Bush administration has screwed up everything – militarily, politically diplomatically – it has tried to do in the Middle East; so how on earth could it successfully bring off the international crimes against humanity in the United States on 11 September 2001?

Well, I still hold to that view. Any military which can claim – as the Americans did two days ago – that al-Qa’ida is on the run is not capable of carrying out anything on the scale of 9/11. "We disrupted al-Qa’ida, causing them to run," Colonel David Sutherland said of the preposterously code-named "Operation Lightning Hammer" in Iraq’s Diyala province. "Their fear of facing our forces proves the terrorists know there is no safe haven for them." And more of the same, all of it untrue.

Within hours, al-Qa’ida attacked Baquba in battalion strength and slaughtered all the local sheikhs who had thrown in their hand with the Americans. It reminds me of Vietnam, the war which George Bush watched from the skies over Texas – which may account for why he this week mixed up the end of the Vietnam war with the genocide in a different country called Cambodia, whose population was eventually rescued by the same Vietnamese whom Mr Bush’s more courageous colleagues had been fighting all along.

But – here we go. I am increasingly troubled at the inconsistencies in the official narrative of 9/11. It’s not just the obvious non sequiturs: where are the aircraft parts (engines, etc) from the attack on the Pentagon? Why have the officials involved in the United 93 flight (which crashed in Pennsylvania) been muzzled? Why did flight 93’s debris spread over miles when it was supposed to have crashed in one piece in a field? Again, I’m not talking about the crazed "research" of David Icke’s Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster – which should send any sane man back to reading the telephone directory.

I am talking about scientific issues. If it is true, for example, that kerosene burns at 820C under optimum conditions, how come the steel beams of the twin towers – whose melting point is supposed to be about 1,480C – would snap through at the same time? (They collapsed in 8.1 and 10 seconds.) What about the third tower – the so-called World Trade Centre Building 7 (or the Salmon Brothers Building) – which collapsed in 6.6 seconds in its own footprint at 5.20pm on 11 September? Why did it so neatly fall to the ground when no aircraft had hit it? The American National Institute of Standards and Technology was instructed to analyse the cause of the destruction of all three buildings. They have not yet reported on WTC 7. Two prominent American professors of mechanical engineering – very definitely not in the "raver" bracket – are now legally challenging the terms of reference of this final report on the grounds that it could be "fraudulent or deceptive".

Journalistically, there were many odd things about 9/11. Initial reports of reporters that they heard "explosions" in the towers – which could well have been the beams cracking – are easy to dismiss. Less so the report that the body of a female air crew member was found in a Manhattan street with her hands bound. OK, so let’s claim that was just hearsay reporting at the time, just as the CIA’s list of Arab suicide-hijackers, which included three men who were – and still are – very much alive and living in the Middle East, was an initial intelligence error.

But what about the weird letter allegedly written by Mohamed Atta, the Egyptian hijacker-murderer with the spooky face, whose "Islamic" advice to his gruesome comrades – released by the CIA – mystified every Muslim friend I know in the Middle East? Atta mentioned his family – which no Muslim, however ill-taught, would be likely to include in such a prayer. He reminds his comrades-in-murder to say the first Muslim prayer of the day and then goes on to quote from it. But no Muslim would need such a reminder – let alone expect the text of the "Fajr" prayer to be included in Atta’s letter.

Let me repeat. I am not a conspiracy theorist. Spare me the ravers. Spare me the plots. But like everyone else, I would like to know the full story of 9/11, not least because it was the trigger for the whole lunatic, meretricious "war on terror" which has led us to disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan and in much of the Middle East. Bush’s happily departed adviser Karl Rove once said that "we’re an empire now – we create our own reality". True? At least tell us. It would stop people kicking over chairs.


Forum posts

  • Anybody who has spend some time in America, whatever opinion they may have about the Bush administration, knows for sure that it is absurd and perfectly insane to think that an american organization (Pentagon, CIA, wathever...) planned the first attack on american wsoil and the massive destruction of civil american lives. This is just delirium! As for the Kennedy assassination, you can always find odd and awkward details and imperfect reports but think first of the global picture. It’s just impossible!

    • yawn....91-128 not sure what kind of state run propaganda you’re pushing, but obviously if one REALLY will take the time to look, they have no choice but to agree with the numerous flood of CIA and military personell that are coming out of the woodwork that say EMPHATICALLY the 9-11 commision report is a FKING JOKE! And that puts it MILDLY. While I don’t think it can be proven YET that the Israeli LOYALISTS in our own government and their shills and whores actually PULLED THE 9-11 trigger it is QUITE safe to say they AT THE LEAST allowed it to occur and aided and abetted it. Thank GOD there are some TRUE Patriots left in our Intelligence agencies and Military that won’t take the destruction of this GREAT country lying down and they WILL honor their PLEDGE to the U.S. constitution to PROTECT this country from High ranking assholes in our OWN GUberment that are selling out their own country. Wise up pal, people are PISSED they are closing in on The TRuth, and even the Bush/Cheney martial Law wet dream that they may try and initiate STILL with ANOTHER False flag may not be enough to turn the tide of TRUE PATRIOTISM and LOVE of this country against TRAITORS!!!!!!!


    • It doesn’t have to melt. Steel looses half of its strength at 1200 F
      and that is certainly enought to loose any structural integrity it would need to be a support.
      Oh yes and acetylene gas by itself will not burn hot enough to melt steel
      but it sure will when oxygen is added ie oxy/acetylene welding.
      You guys sound like the left wing nut Rosie O.
      What utter dunces!

    • NO "left wing nutter" HERE just a TRuther cutting through Bullshit. WE’ll keep posting the footage of WTC’s OBVIOUS IMPLOSION until Hell freezes over for you LYing gutless Sheeple F’ks that can’t seem to cope with reality! *Conspiracy Theory MY ASS!!! You simply need to wake up, take a course in HISTORY, and see how the world REALLY OPERATES. LOOK AND LEARN!!!


  • I agree with Fisk’s opinion. However, I think that we need to keep their feet to the fire regarding all the truth. What did happen in bldg. 7? Exactly what airplane parts were discovered at each site that was hit? I talked to people who actually worked on the twin towers when they were built and they believe that what happened could happen.

  • With family in engineering and having worked in that field for over 25 years, I have not been able to find an engineer who does not believe that all the buildings were brought down through controlled demolition.

    I have watched the films many, many times and can see no other reason for the fall of the World Trade Buildings. There are too many things wrong with the given reports. Someone is failing to tell the truth. Who do you think that would be?

    Things like this will make anyone think twice about what is really going on in the US.



  • AHHHH YES!! the old "it can’t happen here" attitude.... After all this is the home of the free and the brave and mom and apple pie ,dontcha’ know!!!...........FOR YOUR CHILDREN"S SAKE WAKE UP! and realize this nation is now the UNITED STATES of ISRAELWEST..........Your America is GONEEEEEEEE!!

    • With all due respect, what else do we need to know of 9/11 other than it killed innocent people and those who did so and have the mind to do so again need to be stopped?

      If anyone intentionally flew an airplane into your office, wouldn’t you - first and foremost - want to find the culprit and commit to ensuring it does not happen again? It’s a big world with a lot of hateful people cheering on the destruction of America. We all should be supporting, not beating down the optimistic leaders who are trying against odds to protect the world’s family.

      Immigrants, including Mid East immigrants have influence in America, just as everyone else in the world does. America IS a collection of immigrants and was created on the combined influence. America’s so called power (and power’s nature is always going to be good and evil) is due solely to that combined influence, and not ANY one man or one organization.

      As an American, my family comes from Italy, France, Canada, and a few other countries. I’m George Bush’s 13th cousin and probably related to you too. My children will have twice the collective background and by the time their children are born, they will have inherited a deeply enriched combination from all parts of the world. That’s the way it is for Americans. It makes no worldly sense for people in and from American’s home countries to want us destroyed for being a collective part of every part of the world. America is young. Moving forward, we all can, and should, look to an awesome peace filled future (for the sake of our children) with the kind of knowledge and experience that comes from our collective individual influences, which is what most American’s do. For any individual in any country to want to see America destroyed is to destroy a part of them selves.

      Entertaining your plea for us to "wake up" for our "children’s sake" and "realize this nation is now the UNITED STATES of ISRAELWEST..........Your America is GONEEEEEEEE", I have to ask: What purpose are you attempting to provoke? What benefit could possibly come from trying to convince us to teach our children to realize that their country is gone? What purpose does it serve you?

      What’s wrong with being free, brave, or mom’s apple pie? Are you free? Are you brave? Do you like apple pie? People who want to see me and my children "GONEEEEEE" scare the hell out me and I find it hard to be free knowing you want me and my country gone. I’ll be brave because what else can I do? I’ll defend my country and protect my children the best I can and I’m not going to hate anyone, including you, for wanting me to see my country gone. I saw what hate can do on 9/11. And I do like apple pie although my mom doesn’t make it. I get my apple pie from my Iraq friend’s store down the street.

    • 172-56 the whole misnamed "war on terror" is really a REIGN OF TERROR on civilians AND on Americans by a bunch of Nazi loving FREEDOM hating asshole ELITISTS that will do ANYTHING to gain more power and money while MISUSING our troops! The whole idea behind 9-11 was to provide a pretext to FIRST open up the flood gates of the Treasury to STEAL hundreds and hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars for Nazi cronies, to seize The oil and gas resources of Afghanistan and Iraq (and maybe Iran), to float the petrodollar as the world’s reserve currency UNTIL the prescribed CRASH TIME, to destroy American’s ability to object once they found out what a FRAUD 9-11 was, and to advance the interests of ISRAELI LOYALISTS! Thank GOD TRUE patriots in our country are now coming forward to try and STOP the destruction of A FREE AMERICA, the light of the world one set up on the ideals of The Founders, Thank GOD there appears to be TRUE FREEDOM FIGHTERS in our CIA and upper Eschelons of our own military that are PUSHING BACK against these FKING NAZI AMERICA HATERS!!!!! LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC, thank you HEROES!!!!!

  • C’mon, any one in their right mind must first answer the question, How does a man who needs every speech he reads composed with phonetic spellings competent enough to continue covering up a conspiracy he never had the skill to pull off? Sure, there are a lot of mysteries involved in 9/11 but that’s the biggest of them all. Name one thing he’s done successfully, other than perfect the art of failure.

    There may or may not have been a conspiracy. Personally, I lean towards the likelihood that there was a distinct Western logic at the heart of 9/11, particularly regarding the scale and proficiency of the events. But was it the NSA? The CIA? Or a rogue, or group of rogue, agent(s) acting on their own sort of like Oliver North once did?

    Even if Americans were involved in the execution, there was, nonetheless, a virulent form of Qutbian al-Qaeda forces who were involved in the plot not because they were being paid but because they aimed to destroy America. That’s indisputable. That’s not grounds for preemptive wars or the "War on Terror." But it is a showcase for Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations writ large.

    Yes, the events, as Fisk suggests, should be examined further, and all the facts laid out on the table. But in the meantime, while much of the left is concentrating on 9/11, the insidious Neocon strategy continues unabated. PNAC is no longer formally in existence, but their plans are being carried out to the letter. Note: Iranian citizens make sure you have food for 30 days and enough Iodine tablets to prevent throat cancer.

    And, even worse, what’s the choice now, according to the "experts"? Thompson, Guliani or Hillary. Where’s the cyanide when you need it? Arguing about 9/11 won’t matter much after he U.S. bombs Iran, especially if nukes are involved. Those days will look like a picnic when compared to the kind of hell the world will devolve into after such a catastrophe.

    • 205-117 since I and MILLIONS of other Americans KNOW 9-11 was aided and abetted at the LEAST by those Bush/Cheney NEO_CON Nazis, the biggest concern is that if they did it ONCE and got away with it and many Americans were fooled, what are the chances they are going to pull of another 9-11 part two on America and use it as a pretext for WWIII and further fascist control at home? I find that the MOST troubling. WE are being warned from ALL corners of TRUE Patriots INSIDE many of our own ’establishment’ centers that this is not only a possibility but LIKELY. If people don’t realize it happened BEFORE how will they realize it when it happens AGAIN?

      And to say just because Bush often appears "retarded" or perhaps on serious medication in NO way refutes the fact that he stands by while Cheney and his Neo_Cons work tirelessly behind the scenes to bring about WWIII and the destruction of the American Republic as we know it. You say you also see the "distinct Western Logic" behind 9-11, well yes they have done everything practically but come right out and stick a *9-11=INSIDE JOB* sticker on their foreheads.

      It is true IMO Shillary Clinton is just another Neo-CON in Dem clothing. I personally believe this republic has NO chance of surviving intact unless someone like Ron Paul can turn it around. I have also come of late to look at Mr. Gravel on the "Dem side" I wish he would speak up even more and take these Elitists Warmongering fascist bastards to task for their inabiltiy to EVER tell the truth and their ABSOLUTE arrogance.

      America DESPERATELY needs a REAL LEADER at this critical time in our history, America is DYING more than at any time I have witnessed in my nearly half a century on this small planet. WE need FIRST someone FAIR and someone HONEST and unfortunatley that rules out about 95% of any candidates I see seeking leadership for this country. Short of a Second Coming I feel America is in SERIOUS, SERIOUS TROUBLE!

  • Another article on this site and in Pravda.Ru entitled Analyzing Conspiracy Theories after September 11 Attacks, by Pravda’s Legal Editor David R. Hoffman, presents an oft-ignored theory that is also plausible. It states that Bush and his minions knew "something" was going to happen, but thought it would be a plane hijacking of the traditional variety, which basically involved hostage taking and a flight to a hostile country. Bush and his minions planned to use that alone to justify their illegal wars. Unfortunately, the hijackers had different plans, and by the time Bush and his band of idiots realized this, it was too late to stop it. Nevertheless, Bush got his war.

    • I have seen no credible evidence that "bin laden" ever left the employ of the CIA, and that he was "deep cover" seems very very likely, in fact Agance France Press widely reported (though denied by TPTB) the FBI met with him only months before 9-11. MY guess is he helped INSIDERS to set up 9-11 to be used for PNAC’s OPENLY stated *desire* for a "New Pearl Harbor" that would help swing Americans in line behind their push to seize Full control of Mideast oil fields. I think the REAL "conspiracy theory" is the rediculous "box cutter" story the gullible sheep are being fed. In any case it is laughable to believe that whatever hit the Pentagon was a large commercial plane, the millions of us who saw the first pictures (even posted on a military website) show there was NO plane wreckage, very little damage, a small hole that looked like either a missle or bomb caused it, and a lawn that wasn’t even disturbed etc. etc.

      There is ZERO doubt in anyone’s mind that has really taken the time to watch WTC7 IMPLODED and the twin towers certainly which faired no differently that that is a SCAM. Those in our own intel services and our military that are now calling the "offical" conspiracy theory put out by the White House spin machine and the 9-11 commsion report a JOKE are right on the money, it is SICK joke, impossible for anyone with even a degree of analytical skill to take seriously, the lies and distortions by this criminal administration just keep getting deeper and deeper and deeper. And the MILLIONS of us who KNOW share a Bigger concern that IF they get away as they have for yeasr with 9-11 ACT I what is to stop them from 9-11 ACT II to be used to further increase their war on the world and on their own American people?